Construction of the new event center at Kansas High School continues to move forward, even as the completion date is once again extended, now into the fall semester.
Kansas Superintendent Jim Burgess hopes completion of the facility will continue with no further setbacks.
“It is not as far along as it should be,” said Burgess. “Right now they are they are saying first of October or a little later before it is done.“
Burgess said in a project like this little things cause setbacks.
“What started the delays were the bleachers," Burgess said. "They were scheduled for eight weeks and they took 18 weeks.
"That messed everyone else’s schedule up behind them."
Burgess estimates the facility is approximately 70 percent complete.
“There is still a lot to do. The chairs for the bleachers are not in there yet. They are getting ready to start coming to put them in," Burgess said. "Hopefully they will be here soon to start the sheet rock. When you go to finish it up it can take a little longer sometimes."
The funding for the event center came from a bond issue measure approved by voters on March 3, 2015. School officials broke ground a bit more than one year later, on May 2016, with the dome at the center of the facility raised in mid October of the same year.
“We were hoping to have it by graduation last May," Burgess said. "Then the projection date changed to be finished by the beginning of school starting and now that is not going to be the case."
The facility will have bleacher seats on both sides with chairs that are 22 inches wide. In all, 796 chairs, along with some bleacher seating, will bring the total number of seats to 1,200 to 1,300 people.
The size of the facility was reduced, Burgess said, because of funding issues.
“The dressing rooms are not going to be as big," Burgess said. "They are going to be big but not huge like we originally planned.
"This all happened with the increase in material cost after the bids were submitted."
The facility will host two classrooms, locker rooms for home and visiting teams as well as coaches offices. A concession area, still in its infant stage, will be built on the front of the dome, with an attached entryway.
“The class rooms are pretty decent size. It is two more classrooms than we had before,” said Burgess.
The complete facility will hold 3,200 people during a storm.
“The whole facility will be a storm shelter capable of withstanding an F5 tornado," Burgess said. "[A grant from] FEMA is paying 80 percent of our cost of our generator which will cost $150,000.
"We got a water tank paid for us by Google. It is out there now and set up. It will hold 35,000 to 40,000 gallons. It will be used in emergency situations. It was a requirement of the fire marshal that we have it.
"To be a FEMA certified storm shelter you have to have the generator.”
Burgess said local police and fire officials will have a key to the facility, in the event of a storm. This facility will be in addition to two rooms that are used at both the elementary and middle school campuses.
“Hopefully it will all be finished this fall and we can move in it before the beginning of basketball season,” Burgess said.